A restored East Lake abode is a multilayered expression of its exceptionally creative owners, whose disparate tastes combine to create an engaging interior.
After Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans, it brought winds of change all the way to East Lake, Georgia, when Jared Paul (owner of ADAC showroom paul +) and his relatives—longtime residents of the area—opened up one of the family’s investment properties tucked away near the legendary East Lake Golf Club as temporary housing to hurricane victims. Once it was vacated, Paul and his partner Kelley Harris, owner of Hint | Harris Interiors, launched into remodeling the structure, eventually deciding to purchase the property and make it their permanent home.
“When your closest neighbor is one of the oldest golf courses in the country, you become spoiled not having to look at any neighbors,” says Paul. “Besides, they keep up their yard really well,” he adds.
Paul and Harris, who both have established design careers, brought contrasting aesthetics to the process. Paul loves contemporary and gravitates towards kitsch, while Harris is known for his traditional designs. However, the two share a love of American primitive furniture and contemporary paintings by Georgia artists. “Creating our home has been a merger where we’ve blended our different collections for a cohesive whole,” says Harris.
Filled with an array of 19th-century antiques, midcentury modern furniture and contemporary art, the house has evolved into a multilayered expression of two exceptionally creative designers whose often-disparate tastes collide to create an engaging and eclectic interior.
In the entry, a huntboard from Madison, Georgia, serves as the resting place for a Philippe Starck AK-47 lamp, “an ode to old East Lake,” quips Paul. Harris’s 19th-century Pennsylvania Dutch star quilt becomes a contemporary centerpiece when hung above the 1970s Herman Miller modular seating in an upstairs guest room. Objects as diverse as a Concorde landing light, Steve Rubell’s lamp from Studio 54, and a Jody Fausett photo meld seamlessly among the reupholstered wing chairs from Davidson’s department store and an antique Alabama tea table.
The master bedroom is a cocoon of brown worsted wool and leather, and contemporary nightstands nest beside a pair of midcentury modern armchairs. “I had an all-black bedroom, and I never liked the color green before I met Kelley, but he’s brought color and light into my life. So now we’re a brown and green couple throughout the house,” says Paul.
The result is a deftly orchestrated balance of substance and style in the form of antique, mass-produced and highly personal pieces—a place where saturated neutrals provide definition, and allow this melange of forms and genres to create a harmonious mix.
“There’s a place for everything in this house,” adds Harris. And that includes the pair’s cats. Whether they’re lounging on the bed or sprawled across the huntboard, felines Frankie and Linus are certainly comfortable among this mingling of styles. Now known as the Katrina House, the home represents a shift from the historic and traditional to the modern and democratic in one captivating, fluid sweep.
INTERIOR DESIGN Kelley Harris, Hint | Harris Interiors, 2450 Alston Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30317. (404) 403-2931; hintatlanta.com. Jared Paul, paul +, ADAC, 351 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 121, Atlanta, Georgia, 30305. (404) 261-1820; paulplusatlanta.com.